African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Georgia Douglas Johnson, "Homing Braves" (1922)

There’s music in the measured tread
Of those returning from the dead
Like scattered flowers from a plain
So lately crimson, with the slain.

No more the sound of shuffled feet
Shall mark the poltroon on the street,
Nor shifting, sodden, downcast eye
Reveal the man afraid to die.

They shall have paid full, utterly
The price of peace across the sea,
When, with uplifted glance, they come
To claim a kindly welcome home.

Nor shall the old-time daedal sting
Of prejudice, their manhood wing.
Nor heights, nor depths, nor living streams
Stand in the pathway of their dreams!

Published in Bronze, 1922

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